Book Reviews

Hometown Christmas by Garrett Leigh

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 09-December-2019

Book Blurb

Can Yani and Gavin go from friends to lovers this Christmas?

Yani Nicolaou is sworn off love for good. After fleeing a bad break-up in London, the only blood, sweat, and tears he has left are for his gyro stall at the Christmas market. Rebound fling? No thanks. He’s sticking to one-night-stands.

Ex-army vet Gavin Richie has even less capacity for romance. Managing a homeless shelter while recovering from injury keeps him far too busy. So what if he’s often alone? He’s content being single, or so he thinks until a chance meeting lights a spark he can’t ignore.

Yani is the warmth and affection Gavin hadn’t known he was missing. As Christmas lights up the city, their lives entwine in more ways than one. Falling for each other is easy. Holding on is harder, unless a hometown Christmas proves their love can last longer than the festive season.

Book Review

“Your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.” ~ unknown

Yani Nicolaou, of ‘Hometown Christmas’ by Garrett Leigh, is desperately trying to make his own way in the world. He could have stayed home and worked in his family business, but after getting out of an abusive relationship he simply can’t stay there anymore. Yani comes to Leeds with the delicious Greek food he sells from his food truck and works hard to put the past behind him.

Gavin meets Yani when Yani’s best friend, Bex, recruits him to fill in for a sick cook at a homeless shelter that Gavin helps operate. It’s a far cry from his military life and he’s having a hard time adjusting. Gavin has had it difficult, but for a different reason than Yani. His emotional scars are caused from being in combat. His physical scars are from a severe injury that took place while in service. Months of physical therapy have enabled Gavin to lead a mostly normal life, but the PTSD he still suffers from is often debilitating. Gavin doubts that he will ever be able to feel again. Yet, when he meets Yani, the feelings he thought he would never have surface with a ferocity that he never thought he would ever experience again.

Yani realizes that he is attracted to Gavin, but since he has sworn off serious relationships, he refuses to let himself become involved. He senses how much Gavin needs someone to love and to love him, but Yani tries to convince himself that he isn’t that person. As he gets to know Gavin’s story by interacting with him and Gavin’s friends, his admiration grows for the man and for what he has managed to overcome. After they become intimate, Yani’s determination not to give in becomes more resolute. He ignores Gavin for weeks at a time, saying he is busy, but Gavin can’t help but feel hurt and rejected. If Yani can’t come to terms with his fear of intimacy, they don’t stand a chance of having what he and Gavin both desperately need.

This story was often bittersweet. I liked Yani and Gavin, but their sudden switch from avoiding each other and loving each other was a bit swift. I didn’t feel the connection between them that I’d hoped for. However, I am relieved they were able to come to terms with their feelings. Thanks, Garrett, for giving Yani and Gavin a happy ending.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novella, 164 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 21-November-2019
Price $3.99 ebook, $11.99 paperback
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